After Hardik Pandya’s maiden century propelled India to 487, Sri Lanka found themselves in further agony as they lost as many as 4 wickets in the second session of the Pallekele Test. Pandya continued his stellar show and trapped the all-important Angelo Mathews for a duck. Before that, Mohammed Shami wrecked havoc over the top-order, dismissing openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Upul Tharanga. To make matters worse, a mix-up led to the in-form Kusal Mendis’ run out. Sri Lanka went into tea at 61 for 4 on Day 2, trailing by 426 runs.
Shami exploited the conditions well, seaming the ball both ways. Given the movement, Shami came round the wicket and consistently tried to shape the ball away from the southpaw openers. Both Karunaratne and Tharanga fell in a similar fashion, producing a faint edge to wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha. The onus fell on Dinesh Chandimal and Kusal Perera to make amends. However, bad calling resulted in Perera’s wicket. With Sri Lanka under pressure and the new ball rocking them, Virat Kohli introduced Pandya into the attack. He darted one sharply into Mathews and caught him in the crease. To bag more wickets, Kohli attacked with the spin pair of Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav before tea. However, Chandimal and Niroshan Dickwella played with caution to avoid further damage. If Sri Lanka are to avoid follow-on, this pair will have to bat out of their skin.
India 487 all-out (KL Rahul 85; Shikha Dhawan 119; Hardik Pandya 108*; Lakshan Sandakan 5 for 132) trail Sri Lanka 61 for 4 (Kusal Mendis 18; Mohammed Shami (2 for 15) by 426 runs.